Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushman Rock Art [Hardback]

David Lewis-Williams (Author); Sam Challis (Author)

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ISBN: 9780500051696 | Published by: Thames and Hudson | Year of Publication: 2011 | Language: English 224p, b/w illus, col pls




Deciphering Ancient Minds

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The rock art of the San people of southern Africa is justifiably world famous. Here, the great authority David Lewis-Williams and his colleague Sam Challis reveal how these rock paintings and engravings can be made to yield insights into San beliefs and ways of thought. Comprehensive transcriptions, made in the nineteenth century, exist of interviews with San people who were shown copies of the art and gave their interpretations of them. Using these and the analogy of the Rosetta Stone with its parallel texts, the authors move between the rock art and the San texts, teasing out the subtle meanings behind them both. The picture that emerges is very different from past analysis: this art is not a naïve narrative of daily life but rather is imbued with power and religious depth.

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